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Lecture 5

CHYS 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Ladylike, Halfway House, Neuroplasticity

Child and Youth Studies
Course Code
Shauna Pomerantz

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Girls chase boys chase girls:
Gender, belonging and popularity
Gender as binary
To be male is to not be female and vice versa
To be masculine is to not be feminine and vice versa
Binary is heavily policed and bounded
You must police out what you are not
Sex and gender
Body parts
How biological sex is experienced
Based on how you are treated based on biological sex
Normative model
It logically follows…
If male then masculine
If female then feminine
Policed through:
School, sports, science, pop culture, peer groups
Gender at and before birth
Boy = blue
Girl = pink
Gender at play
Boy= star wars, G.I Joe
Girl= Barbie, My little Pony
Gendering Lego
2011- Lego comes up with Lego friends (Lego for girls).
Gender ‘borderwork’ in youth
How do young men and women create what Thorne calls “opposite sides” by
strengthening borders?
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Girls’ night out
Bros before Hoes
Shop till you drop
Gender in language
Young women:
Slut, skank, hoe
Tomboy, ladylike
Bitch, hot mess
Young men:
player, dude, fuckboy
Man up, girl, pussy
Boys will be boys
Boys don’t cry
The problem
Supports inequality:
Feminine framed as lesser, objectified, lacking, sexualized
Masculine framed as limited, in a box, imprisoning
Many do not fit
Gender much more complicated
Nature/nurture by another name
Unchangeable features of a group
Fixed biological facts
Girl brains/boy brains
Girls are better at…
Boys are better at…
We reinforce stereotypes
Social construction:
Gender is learned
Fluctuates, changes across space/time
Girls/boys brains not hardwired
Mediated by culture
We reinforce stereotypes
Gender as hardwired?
Lise Eliot (2009):
Weak science dominates debate
Spurs stereotypes
Neural plasticity = brain shaped by experience
Small differences become exaggerated by parents/culture
Meta-analysis of studies on gender and the brain
Performing gender
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